Daylight Saving Time starts

hello spring

31 Mar 2019 - Daylight Saving Time Starts

Don't Forget

No, it's not a magic trick — it's Daylight Saving Time! Daylight Saving Time (or “Summer Time," as it's known in many parts of the world) was created to make better use of the long sunlight hours of the summer. By “springing" clocks forward an hour in March, we move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening.

Sunday, 31 March 2019, 01:00:00 clocks are turned forward 1 hour to Sunday, 31 March 2019, 02:00:00 local daylight time instead.

Sunrise and sunset will be about 1 hour later on 31 Mar 2019 than the day before. There will be more light in the evening. Also called Spring Forward, Summer Time, and Daylight Savings Time.

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Mothering Sunday

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Mother's Day

Mothers Day this years falls on 31st March 2019, so if you're needing a Private Hire vehicle or Taxi to treat your Mum to a nice Breakfast, Lunch, dinner or day out, don't forget to book early as we quickly become fully booked on these days.

The History of Mothers Day

Mother's Day, or Mothering Sunday in the UK and Ireland, is a day to show love, gratitude and appreciation to all wonderful mums everywhere, through acts of kindness and the giving of Mothers Day gifts and flowers. Mothering Sunday and Mother's Day both have different origins; although they represent the same meaning, they originated very differently. We all celebrate the day but very few people actually know its origin. The original meaning of Mothering Sunday and Mother's Day has been somewhat lost but it's still a day to solely appreciate mum.

Mother's Day celebrations date back as far as the ancient Greeks where they would celebrate Rhea, the Mother of the Gods and Goddesses, every spring with festivals of worship. The Romans also celebrated a mother Goddess, Cybele, every March as far back as 250BC.

Mothering Sunday has been celebrated on the fourth Sunday in Lent, in the UK and Ireland, since the 16th century. The date varies in other parts of the world. Many countries follow the US and celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May, whilst other countries enjoy the day on March 8th which is International Women's Day.

Like many traditions and festivities, Mothering Sunday began with a religious purpose. Held on the fourth Sunday in Lent, exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday, it was a originally a day to honour and give thanks to the Virgin Mary, also known as Mother Mary. Such celebrations required people to visit their 'mother' church - the main church or cathedral in a family's area. The spread of Christianity throughout Europe in the 16th century increased the celebrations and firmly put Mothering Sunday on the calendar. It was believed to be essential for people to return to their home 'mother' church to make it a true family honored occasion. The gatherings reunited families and gave children who worked as domestic servants, or as apprentices away from home (from as early as ten years old), the opportunity to have the day off to join their family and see their mother.

Throughout the year in England and Ireland people would regularly and devoutly visit their nearest chapel, their 'daughter' church, whereas on Mothering Sunday, as well as baptisms, people would visit their 'mother' church loaded with offerings of thanks. Such celebrations were similar to, and most likely adopted, the Roman ceremonies of the Mother Goddess. The religious day increased its scope from thanking Mother Mary to a 'mother' church celebration and finally opened up as an occasion to thank and appreciate all mothers; thus creating Mothering Sunday.

Whilst the day had a firm following for many centuries since the 16th century, by 1935 it started to decrease in popularity and was celebrated less and less in Europe, until WWII. The Americans and Canadians celebrated Mother's Day during the war, feeling a crucial need to give thanks to their mothers whilst away at war. The Brits and other Europeans followed their comrades and they too gave thanks to their mothers; since then it earns pride of place on the UK calendar.

As with any national holiday, Mother's Day involves the giving of gifts and cards to show Mum how much she's valued and appreciated. Traditionally Mother's Day gifts included flowers and a Simnel cake. The flowers were picked by the workers on the way home from work for a day with their mum; they'd pick wild flowers from the country lanes. It is still a tradition today to spoil mum with a stunning colourful bouquet of flowers, as well as more modern gifts such as perfume, clothes or jewellery.

As with any national holiday, food always seems to take centre stage; Christmas dinner, Easter eggs, Valentine's feast and Mother's Day Sunday roast dinner. We love our food and the tradition it brings!
Mothering Sunday was once also known as 'Refreshment Sunday' it was the mid-lent Sunday where fasting could be 'eased' for the day and people could enjoy a delicious meal together as a family. It was an opportunity to temporarily indulge in some special rich food for the day breaking up the hard slog of lent. Traditionally, after church, families would tuck into a Sunday dinner of either roast lamb or veal and mother would be made Queen of the feast. Similar to today, Mothering Sunday was all about spoiling mum and making her feel happy and appreciated.

Also once known as 'Simnel Sunday', families would gather with freshly baked delicious Simnel cakes. Simnel cakes are made of two rich fruity layers that are boiled in water and then baked, before having almond paste spread on top and in the middle of the layers. Traditionally the cake would have been decorated with 11 balls of marzipan to represent the 11 disciples (not including Judas), whilst sugar violets were also a popular decoration for the cake. Such a treat midway through lent was greatly looked forward to.

Traditionally, it's believed that bread was also freshly baked for mothers on Mothering Sunday. Children would awake early and get the bread in the oven so mums would wake to the beautiful aroma of fresh bread. Nowadays mum's are either taken out for a special dinner or a home cooked Sunday roast dinner is enjoyed by the whole family - mums might even be cooking it themselves!

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St. Patrick’s Day 2019

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St. Patrick’s Day 17th March 2019

St. Patrick’s Day observes of the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. So If you're needing a Taxi/Private Hire vehicle to a special St Patrick's Day event, please book early as we can get quickly flooded with bookings, so as not to disappoint get in quick!

What Do People Do?

St Patrick’s Day is celebrated in many parts of the world, especially by Irish communities and organizations. Many people wear an item of green clothing on the day. Parties featuring Irish food and drinks that are dyed in green food color are part of this celebration. It is a time when children can indulge in sweets and adults can enjoy a “pint” of beer at a local pub. Many restaurants and pubs offer Irish food or drink, which include:
-Irish brown bread.
-Corned beef and cabbage.
-Beef and Guinness pie.
-Irish cream chocolate mousse cake.
-Irish coffee.
-Irish potato champ, also known as poundies, cally or pandy.
-Irish stew.
-Irish potato soup.

Some people plan a pilgrimage to St Patrick’s Purgatory, which is commonly associated with penance and spiritual healing since the early 13th century. It is on Station Island in Lough Derg in County Donegal where St Patrick had a vision promising that all who came to the sanctuary in penitence and faith would receive a pardon for their sins.

Public Life
St Patrick's Day is a bank holiday in Northern Ireland (United Kingdom) and the Republic of Ireland. St Patrick’s Day is also a festive occasion in some parts of the world where it is not a public holiday. Therefore traffic and parking may be temporarily affected in streets and public areas where parades are held in towns and cities.

Background

St Patrick is one of the patron saints of Ireland. He is said to have died on March 17 in or around the year 493. He grew up in Roman Britain, but was captured by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland as a slave when he was a young adult. After some years he returned to his family and entered the church, like his father and grandfather before him. He later returned to Ireland as a missionary and worked in the north and west of the country.
According to popular legend, St Patrick rid Ireland of snakes. However, it is thought that there have been no snakes in Ireland since the last ice age. The "snakes" that St Patrick banished from Ireland, may refer to the druids or pagan worshipers of snake or serpent gods. He is said to be buried under Down Cathedral in Downpatrick, Ireland. Ireland’s other patron saints are St Brigid and St Columba.
Luke Wadding, a Franciscan scholar born in 1588 in Waterford, on the south coast of Ireland, was influential in ensuring that the anniversary of St Patrick's death became a feast day in the Catholic Church. Many Catholic churches traditionally move St Patrick's Day to another date if March 17 falls during Holy Week.
Many immigrants from Ireland fled to other parts of the world, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, in the 19th and 20th centuries. Many Irish customs, including the St Patrick’s Day celebrations, became quite popular in these countries. However, much of the interest in the St Patrick’s Day events is largely commercially driven in the 21st century.

Symbols

The most common St Patrick's Day symbol is the shamrock. The shamrock is the leaf of the clover plant and a symbol of the Holy Trinity. Many people choose to wear the color green and the flag of the Republic of Ireland is often seen in St Patrick’s Day parades around the world. Irish brands of drinks are popular at St Patrick’s Day events.
Religious symbols include snakes and serpents, as well as the Celtic cross. Some say that Saint Patrick added the Sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross. Other Irish-related symbols seen on St Patrick’s Day include the harp, which was used in Ireland for centuries, as well as a mythological creature known as the leprechaun and a pot of gold that the leprechaun keeps hidden.

2019 St Patricks Day events near Stevenage

 

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Pancake Day 2019

Pancakes & Lemon

Shrove Tuesday 5th March 2019

Pancake Day

If you're needing a Taxi/Private Hire vehicle to a special lunch, or Shrove Tuesday event, please book early as we can get quickly flooded with bookings, so as not to disappoint get in quick!

Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Lent – the 40 days leading up to Easter – was traditionally a time of fasting and on Shrove Tuesday, Anglo-Saxon Christians went to confession and were “shriven” (absolved from their sins). A bell would be rung to call people to confession. This came to be called the “Pancake Bell” and is still rung today.

Shrove Tuesday always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday, so the date varies from year to year and falls between February 3 and March 9.

Shrove Tuesday was the last opportunity to use up eggs and fats before embarking on the Lenten fast and pancakes are the perfect way of using up these ingredients.

A pancake is a thin, flat cake, made of batter and fried in a frying pan. A traditional English pancake is very thin and is served immediately. Golden syrup or lemon juice and caster sugar are the usual toppings for pancakes.

The pancake has a very long history and featured in cookery books as far back as 1439. The tradition of tossing or flipping them is almost as old: “And every man and maide doe take their turne, And tosse their Pancakes up for feare they burne.” (Pasquil’s Palin, 1619).

The ingredients for pancakes can be seen to symbolise four points of significance at this time of year:
Eggs ~ Creation
Flour ~ The staff of life
Salt ~ Wholesomeness
Milk ~ Purity

To make 8 or so pancakes you will need 8oz plain flour, 2 large eggs, 1 pint milk, salt.

Mix all together and whisk well. Leave to stand for 30 minutes. Heat a little oil in a frying pan, pour in enough batter to cover the base of the pan and let it cook until the base of the pancake has browned. Then shake the pan to loosen the pancake and flip the pancake over to brown the other side.

In the UK, pancake races form an important part of the Shrove Tuesday celebrations – an opportunity for large numbers of people, often in fancy dress, to race down streets tossing pancakes. The object of the race is to get to the finishing line first, carrying a frying pan with a cooked pancake in it and flipping the pancake as you run.

 

by Ellen Castelow

chef

Valentine’s day

Valentines Day image

The History behind Valentine's Day

With the days getting a little longer & a bit warmer, Valentine's will soon be upon us. It won't be long before you need to get your Valentine's Gifts, Cards and most importantly, THE MEAL!

So if you're going to plan a lovely night out with a meal be sure to book us early as we can get fully booked at this time of year, so to avoid disappointment, yes, you know the drill, use our booking form on this site or simply call us for availability.

Valentine lived from approximately 175 AD to 269 AD. It was during the years of the Roman Emperor Claudius II (268 AD to 270 AD) that Valentine was brought into captivity.
Claudius II fought many wars during his reign and needed the enlistment of many men to fight these wars. However, the men were not coming forth to enlist as soldiers. Claudius II assumed the men were not enlisting because they were married and had families. He put forth a ruling that single men were not to be married which would lead to their enlistment into the army.
Valentine, a priest, did not abide by this ruling. He secretly married many couples and also helped many persecuted Christians. Claudius II found out about Valentine’s disobedience and imprisoned him. Claudius II tried to convince Valentine to worship idols and to give up his deep faith in Christianity but Valentine refused. Instead of accepting the idol worshipping custom, Valentine tried to convert Claudius II to Christianity.

While in prison, Valentine prayed daily to God. One guard, who overheard Valentine praying, requested a special prayer for the healing of his daughter who could not see. Valentine prayed to God for the restoration of the daughter’s sight. In time, the daughter’s sight was restored.

Claudius II did not acquit Valentine of his disobedience. Around 269 AD, Valentine was beheaded for the disregard of the law and for the refusal to renounce his faith of Christianity.
In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius proclaimed February 14th as the day in which St. Valentine would be honored for his martyrdom. February 14th was believed to be the day in which St. Valentine died.
St. Valentine is the patron saint of engaged couples, lovers, bee keepers, greetings, love, travelers and young people. He is also the patron saint against the plague, fainting and epilepsy.
St. Valentine’s Day is celebrated throughout the world on February 14th of every year. Love, romance and kindness are shared with others through the giving of gifts such as candy, cards, flowers and jewelry. The color red is associated with St. Valentine’s Day along with chocolate, cupid and the shape of a heart.

The first Valentine’s Day cards were handmade with ribbons and lace. During 1847, Ester Howland of Worcester, Massachusetts, began the mass printing of Valentine’s Day cards. Since then, the practice of gifting a card to a loved one became popular. In today’s world, other gifts are also given to those who are smitten with each other or who care for each other. Gifts can include a special dinner, a perfectly chosen card, a special bouquet of flowers or any special love from the heart. Only one’s imagination is needed in fulfilling the love for this day.

happy valentines day